Service Review: The power of the human touch at South Philly’s Hand & Stone
I was recently asked to visit the South Philadelphia location of Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa to review their facility and services. I do not often treat myself to massages, but I happen to have visited a different spa twice in the last couple of months (thanks to a gift card I received for Mother’s Day) and had a mediocre experience both times. So, I was very apprehensive about this experience from the get-go. However, I am going to say up front that this turned out to be the best massage I have ever had and here is why:
Atmosphere and Services:
From the moment I walked in, the staff was friendly and prompt in greeting me and explaining the first time client form that I had to fill out. The woman who was helping me offered extra services that they can add to your massage experience but didn’t push anything once I expressed that I was not interested in any extras. This was also the case at the end of my visit, when they offered a membership to their lifestyle program (basically, a monthly membership) which I also declined. This is really important to me, as I hate to be made to feel like company wants me to spend more money if it’s not in my best interest. It’s enough to keep me from returning. Overall, the ambiance of the spa was quiet, friendly, and calming.
Their services include various types of massages, including couples massage, facials, and hair removal. They also have a massage chair that they use for events, like the Teacher’s Appreciation Week event they participated in recently. They have 15 massage therapists and 4 estheticians on staff. For more information on their specific services, you can visit their website at www.handandstonesouthphiladelphiapa.com.
From what I understand, many of the Hand and Stone Spa locations are similar in appearance. The lobby is very neutral in color, simple, bright, and clean. This particular location added some beach themed décor to their check-in desk to differentiate them a little from other locations of the chain, which I appreciated. Their suite, which is in a strip mall, boasts 9 rooms including 2 facial rooms, 6 massage rooms, and 1 couples massage room. The massage rooms are dim, warm, and welcoming with little decoration, which I don’t mind. I find that too much on the walls in the massage rooms themselves can be distracting. Though, I would have loved to see some more décor in the hallways or on the doors to the massage rooms to add a personal touch like they did in the lobby. The rooms have beds with pillows to prop up your legs, feet and head which seem like a small thing but are huge for me when it comes to my comfort.
Now, for the most important part of this review. I am very skeptical of massages, no matter where I am going. I just never know what I’m going to get when I go to someone new and I’ve never found a massage therapist who I liked enough to return to. Until now. My massage therapist’s name at Hand and Stone Spa was Ron, and he was incredible. I wasn’t sure in the beginning if he knew that this whole experience was being reviewed so I didn’t say anything about it. He was a warm person and made me feel comfortable immediately, making sure I had everything I needed and asking me what I wanted him to concentrate on. With every new section of my body he moved to, he would feel around my muscles and scan the area to see where I was tight and, I assume, to assess what type of technique was needed. He used the perfect amount of pressure in his strokes, loosening up my muscles and then soothing them. I never even had to ask him to adjust the pressure- he just knew what my body needed. And his agility was incredible. I don’t know for sure, but I am almost positive that he climbed up onto the table over my back in order to move from my lower back to upper back from the right angle. I had no idea until I felt him lightly hop back down to the floor. I was beyond impressed. It really felt like he understood the body and the power of human touch. I walked out of there floating on a cloud.
This was, by far, the best massage experience that I have ever had and I highly recommend visiting this location and asking for Ron. I know that I plan on going back, despite the 40 minute drive from my home!
1100 S Columbus Blvd Suite 24
Philadelphia, PA 19147
I am a theatre teacher, director, choreographer, performer, yoga teacher, wifey to Jer, and Mama to Harper.